Farm Bills a Potential Step Forward, But Many Need Protecting: IMF

Meanwhile, the ninth round of talks between Centre and farmers over the three contentious farm laws has concluded.

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Farmers during their ongoing agitation against new farm laws, at Ghazipur border, in New Delhi. Image used for representation purpose.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson, according to PTI, has said that the farm bills passed by the Narendra Modi-led government in 2020, have the potential to represent a significant step forward; but a lot of people might be adversely impacted and so, they need protecting.


Gerry Rice, Director of Communications at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to PTI, told reporters in Washington on Thursday, 14 January:

"We believe the farm bills do have the potential to represent a significant step forward for agricultural reforms in India.”

Rice Further said: "The measures will enable farmers to directly contract with sellers, allow farmers to retain a greater share of the surplus by reducing the role of middlemen, enhance efficiency and support rural growth.”

On being asked a question about the farmer protests underway in India, Rice said:

“However, it is crucial that the social safety net adequately protects those who might be adversely impacted during the transition to this new system.”   

He further added that the safety net can be provided by ensuring that the job market creates room for those impacted by the reforms.

Further, according to PTI, Rice said that the growth benefits of the laws will depend critically on the effectiveness and the timing of their implementation.


Meanwhile, the ninth round of talks between the Centre and farmers’ unions over the three contentious farm laws concluded on Friday, 15 January, at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan. Three union ministers were representing the Centre, according to PTI.

The eighth round of talks on Friday, 8 January, ended with no resolution of the issue. Addressing the media after the meeting on Friday, Tomar had said that the discussion on the laws was taken up but no decision could be made.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, reiterated the demand for the repeal and stated that farmers would not accept anything less.

Farmers have been staging protests against the NDA government’s new farm laws, in the biting winter cold, for over two months now.

Deeming the laws as “anti-farmer,” the farmers have sought their complete scrapping or revocation.

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